Gypsum comes from sedimentary rock and is formed by the evaporation of water that contains sulfates and calcium, such as saltwater. When the water evaporates, the minerals are left behind. Over time, they condense and form gypsum.
Gypsum has many uses, but one of its primary uses is in lawncare and agriculture. Farmers, gardeners and homeowners can use gypsum to improve the health of their farmland, gardens and lawns. How conservatively do you have to use it, and what are the benefits and the drawbacks
It is possible to use too much gypsum. Adding too much gypsum to your soil can damage it by removing necessary nutrients. An abundance of gypsum can remove elements such as iron, aluminum and manganese from your soil and cause them to contaminate other areas, harming plant growth.
Before applying gypsum to your soil, you should perform a soil analysis to determine if the soil truly needs it. Some types of soil, such as soil in coastal environments, need gypsum to reduce salt levels. Other soil types with lower sodium levels can suffer salt deprivation if you spread too much gypsum.
Gypsum supplies calcium to the soil. The calcium displaces sodium so it can be leached with rainfall or irrigation water. The best way to use gypsum for the leaching process is to apply it after lawn aeration. Aeration creates small holes that make it easier for gypsum to enter and work within the soil.
Gypsum can also neutralize your lawn when pet urine threatens its health. Pet urine can damage your lawn and produce an unpleasant odor, but gypsum can resolve these issues by neutralizing the mineral salts in urine.
While gypsum can effectively remove salt from your soil, it can also remove essential nutrients such as manganese, aluminum and iron. Gypsum can remove these nutrients during the salt-leaching process, leading to deficiencies that threaten plant and lawn health. Gypsum can add calcium to soil quicker than lime does, decreasing the levels of magnesium and potassium.
Gypsum cannot adjust soil pH as lime does. In addition, you may harm your plants if you apply gypsum when the soil pH is too low. If the pH level of your soil is lower than 5, gypsum can damage your plants.
You can apply lime and gypsum at the same time to improve the health of your lawn. Lime is water-insoluble, which means that it has low mobility in soil and can cause the surface level of the soil to harden, preventing water from entering deeper levels. Gypsum is water-soluble, so it has greater mobility and can help lime better infiltrate the soil.
Our products, 98G pelletized limestone and SO4 pelletized gypsum, are manufactured in Iowa, atop some of the purest limestone and gypsum deposits in the world. Though a majority of our product is used in the agriculture industry, we also manufacture smaller grade sizes for the professional turf industry.
SuperCal SO4 pelletized gypsum (0-0-0-21Ca-17S) provides soluble calcium and sulfate sulfur. It improves soil structure, aeration and drainage, resulting in reduced soil surface crusting and improved seedling emergence.
When pond water is fully turbid, submerged plants can die off, fish gills can become damaged, and beneficial plankton communities can perish. It is important to address turbid water in a timely manner to prevent irreversible damages to pond life. One of the most customary measures of reducing turbidity is with the use of chemical additives, such as gypsum. This article will take you through its chemistry, proper application, and mode of action.
Today, gypsum is a primary component of blackboard chalk, drywall, and plaster. Its application extends into the aquaculture industry, where it is often considered a type of lime. As a pH-neutral chemical, it is an ideal additive that can be used without the risk of drastically altering pH levels in both soil and water. Due to its chemical composition, it can aid in reducing turbidity in ponds by forcing clay particles to sink.
Depending on the source and the extent of processing, there are several types of gypsum. Some of these are more suited for use as a type of soil fertilizer rather than as a pond water additive. The type/particle size you use will also determine how to most effectively spread the material across your pond. Note that the application rates for each of these would vary depending on the properties of your pond water and its level of turbidity.
The key to the effectiveness of gypsum is its proper application, given appropriate conditions. It is considered effective about 65% percent of the time in sufficiently alkaline water. Compared to other amendments, this rate of effectiveness might be considered weak.
An effective gypsum treatment should reduce turbidity within a few days and have long-lasting results. However, natural causes (e.g. floods, heavy rain, nuisance fish) may resuspend or introduce more floating sediments. Without proper land management or if the sources of sediment are not addressed, gypsum may appear ineffective.
In terms of cost, gypsum is considered an average-priced solution (agricultural lime is cheaper) to water turbidity. Repeated usage would not be cost-effective, especially as the effects of gypsum application are supposed to be long-term. For small ponds that would require minimal usage of any type of amendment, the cost of gypsum could be considered negligible. It would follow that large aquaculture ponds, requiring the use of tons of gypsum each year, would incur significant costs. A ton of gypsum can cost more than 150 USD, depending on how processed or clean the material is. A 50-pound sack of ultra-fine gypsum would cost around 10 USD.
Applying gypsum in slurry form instead of as a powder will help prevent it from being accumulated in the organ systems of fish. Try to look for lab-grade or processed gypsum with a higher purity rate, as crude gypsum may be contaminated with other types of raw materials.
Pinpoint the lowest possible concentration (least number of tbsp of gypsum slurry) that managed to clear the pond water, and consult the table below for the proper dosage. Make sure to use accurate conversions when calculating dosages for smaller pond volumes. Pre-mix the corresponding amount of gypsum with pond water and distribute it as evenly as possible around the pond.
Hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and burnt lime (calcium oxide) should only be considered as alternatives to gypsum if the pond does not contain fish. Hay may be used as an organic additive, but note that it can increase the acidity of water and deplete oxygen levels.
Gypsum for clay soil is often recommended to improve your soil quality; however, its effectiveness for this purpose is largely a myth. It can be an effective soil amendment under certain circumstances, such as if your clay soil is sodic or contains high amounts of sodium. Once you determine that gypsum can be helpful, it is easy to apply to your soil with a lawn spreader.
Gypsum, or calcium sulfate, does not improve the texture or water filtration qualities of clay soils, advises K-State Research and Extension Johnson County. However, gypsum offers some benefits depending on the current quality of your soil. Gypsum adds sulfur to the soil without altering pH and helps leech excess aluminum from the soil, advises Ohio State University Extension. Using gypsum for gardens is a good way to add calcium and prevent blossom-end rot on your vegetables.
It is also used as a treatment for sodic soils, which have excess sodium in the soil, causing the soil to be in poor condition from the dispersed clay particles. Sodic soils have decreased water permeability. Gypsum works to correct sodicity by replacing the sodium in the soil with calcium, which improves soil quality, advises University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. If your garden is at risk of salt injury from salt spray or de-icing salts, you can apply gypsum to protect your soil.
Get a soil test to confirm the need for gypsum in your soil. Contact your local extension office for information about soil testing. The results of the test will tell you how much gypsum to apply. If you are applying gypsum to protect against exposure to de-icing salts, apply 1/2 pound of gypsum per square foot of soil, advises the University of Maryland Extension.
Follow all package instructions and warnings when applying gypsum. Fill a lawn spreader with the recommended amount of gypsum and walk back and forth across your lawn to spread the gypsum, advises Espoma. For smaller garden areas, you can simply sprinkle the gypsum on the soil evenly. Ohio State University Extension does not recommend mixing the gypsum into the soil. Irrigate the treated area after application.
A single application is not likely to correct the soil permanently. You may need to apply gypsum annually. If your soil is naturally high in lime or calcium, you can use sulfur to amend your soil instead of gypsum. Follow the results of your soil test and be aware that sulfur may lower your soil pH, while gypsum does not alter pH levels. When you are growing grass in clay soil, aerate the lawn before applying gypsum, advises Lawn Solutions Australia.
Maureen Malone has been a professional writer since 2010 She is located in Tucson, Arizona where she enjoys hiking, horseback riding and martial arts. She is an outdoor lover who spends her weekends tending her raised garden and small orchard of fruit trees.
GYPSOIL brand gypsum is a soil amendment used by corn, soybean, alfalfa, cotton and other crop growers to increase crop productivity through improved soil structure and valuable added nutrients. GYPSOIL brand gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate [CaSO4 - 2H2O]) is an excellent source of sulfur and calcium.
GYPSOIL is the leader in agricultural gypsum. By spreading gypsum, crop growers can effectively improve soil physical properties to soften tight clay soils, increase rainwater infiltration and retention, combat soil crusting, improve seedling emergence and root growth, remove aluminum barriers and reduce nutrient runoff and soil loss. Recent research shows promising results in using field-applied gypsum to reduce nutrient runoff from farm fields to ultimately protect water quality. 59ce067264